Vans Shoes Review — History, Collections, Pros & Cons

Vans Shoes Review History and Design

The vans company is the best action sports company which grew from the quality and lots of creativity. People who love skating are familiar with this brand.

Vans company made California skate culture a worldwide event. The brand has been soaring higher for over 50 years in business, with the popularity of athleisure and the rebirth of retro styles.

The brand produces exquisite footwear, apparel, and accessories for skateboarders, snowboarders, BMX riders, surfers worldwide. It is, therefore, more explicit for the youths than the adults.

The company created its foundation as an original skateboarding company. It took the lead as an action sports brand and has risen to be the second-best brand of shoes all over the world after Nike.

As a brand, its objective is to grow an ‘off the wall’ lifestyle and promote the youth culture.

After all, their legacy was laid on vans’ four pillars; action sports, music, and street culture. They strived to create self-expression collections for individuals across the world.

Read Also: Vans Sk8-Low vs Vans Old Skool

History of Vans company

Vans didn’t achieve success through smooth roads. They had a rigorous experience to get to where they are today.

The shoe and apparel brand started in Anaheim California on March 16, 1966, by the two brothers, Paul Van Doren and James Van Doren in association with Gordon Lee and Serge Delia.

It started as the Van Doren Rubber Company. Before now, they identified their shoes with numbers rather than names.

Their first van shoe was 44 which was later named Authentic. The second shoe was Era, formerly known as 95 while 36 currently known as slip-on was the third.

At first, Vans shoes were not originally designed for skateboarders. As time went on, they were quickly adopted for skateboarding.

Read Also: Vans Ward vs Vans Old Skool

The two first skateboarders to design and ride Vans shoes were Tony Alva and Stacey Peralta in 1976.

Within that year, the Band’s prominent logo ‘off the wall’ made its debut and appeared as a license plate at the heel.

Vans Shoe History

This logo was designed by Mark Van Doren at the age of 13 in Costa Mesa, California. Moreover, the ‘off the wall’ logo was slang used by skateboarders doing tricks in empty pools.

In the 1970s, Vans made one model for the US Air Force called canvas mukluk style boot with a cotton lining.

In 1982, Vans slip-on (style 36) was featured in a movie, Fast Times at Ridgemont high which paved the way for the brand as the shoe went worldwide.

As time passed by, people started making imitations of the shoe. This led to Vans selling at low prices until they went bankrupt in 1984.

They sold the company to the banking firm McCown De Leeuw & Co for 74.4 million USD.

Later on, in 1989, the manufacturers were into Vans imitation were stopped by the US and Mexican officials. The vision of the company was rekindled again by Jasper Lutwama and Aidan Vryenhoek.

The company grew worldwide due to high demand and low supply and was renamed Vans, Inc. In 1991, they sold per share at 14USD on Nasdaq, and in 2004, they corporated with North Carolina-based VF corporation.

Read Also: Vans Era vs Vans Authentic

They celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2019 and released a new logo. Vans shoes are no longer just worn as sportswear, many people buy them without the intention of sports but just for fun.

Vans shoe collections

1. Vans Authentic

Vans Authentic was produced in the early 1970s. It brought a huge consumer base for the brand as it is favorably used by skateboarders.

Vans Shoes review

The Vans shoe has a stuffed style and sticky sole which made it to be loved by skaters. Legend has it that this retro style was inspired by the M4 Sherman tank.

2. Vans Era

The Vans Era was formerly known as style 95. It was introduced into the brand in 1976. The footwear features a padded collar and different combinations of colors.

Vans Shoes review

The creative design was brought by two legendary skateboarders, Tony Alva and Stacy Peralta.

3. Vans Old Skool

When this shoe was released in 1977, it was called Style 98. It captured the hearts of many individuals across the world.

Old Skool features a “jazz stripe” logo right at the side of the shoe.

Vans Shoes review

Read Also: How Do Converse Shoe Sizes Run? 

4. Vans slip-on (Style 36)

Alongside Vans old skool, it was introduced into the brand in the year 1977. As was earlier mentioned, this particular style was featured in the 1982 movie, “Fast times at Ridgemont High” which paved the way for the brand and became favorite wear for most people.

Vans Slip-on review

5. Vans sk8-Hi

This particular collection was introduced in 1978. It is seen in a simple black and white colorway.

The sk8-Hi is considered the most comfortable shoe for skateboarding.

Vans shoe collections

6. Vans Steve Caballero

It is a signature shoe released in 1988 which brought a concrete foundation to the brand to be recognized in the skating community.

Vans shoe collection
Half Cab stemmed from the defunct Steve Caballero

Pros and Cons of Vans Shoes


  • Their rubber outsole provides good traction
  • Vans shoes offer great comfort and durability
  • They’re relatively affordable at $40 — $70
  • It is very versatile and can be worn with leggings, skinnies, or a dress
  • They are launched in multiple styles and colors
  • They have both high top and low top
  • Some vans collections are extra padded at the heel
  • They are unisex


  • Vans are too flat and do not have arch support
  • They do not last too long enough
  • Stains on Vans are difficult to remove especially if the shoe has a color you wouldn’t want to bleach.

Read Also: Are Converse Shoes Slip Resistant? 


Are vans shoes vegan?

Vans shoes are not entirely vegan. Most of them are made with cotton canvas and rubbers while some styles feature leather and suede from animals, e.g: some old skool shoes.

Vans shoes also use a friendly vegan glue on their shoes.

Are vans shoes unisex?

Vans shoes have been producing unisex shoes starting from their first release, authentic deck shoes to their recent collection. Their designs could fit and size anyone irrespective of their gender.

Are vans shoes true to size?

Every foot is unique but vans have all it takes to satisfy them. Vans shoes fit true to size. However, if your size is found in between two sizes, you should go for the higher size.

Which vans shoes are best for skating?

Vans shoes are good for skating but not all. Good shoes for skating are those that can withstand any tough activity and are highly durable.

There are shoes like that in vans such as Vans authentic core classic sneakers, Vans unisex old skool classic skate shoes.

Even more, it is very important to go for the pro model. The suede vans shoes give flexibility, extraordinary support, and have better insoles.

Read Also: Vans or Converse for Skating? Find Out!

Can vans shoes be washed?

Yes, your vans shoes can be washed with warm water and mild detergent using a toothbrush to scrub the tops, sides, and the rubber strip. You then use a clean damp cloth to clean the surface and remove any soap lather.

You can also use a washing machine if you can be very careful. First of all, remove the shoelaces.

Keep your machine at a gentle cycle and use a cold water setting. An old one is required as a bump protector of the machine.

Can vans shoes be dyed?

You can dye your favorite vans shoe if you will follow these processes but first, you need to know the requirements which are;

  • White canvas vans sneakers
  • Liquid or powder fabric dye
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Coldwater running from a sink
  • Empty spray bottle
  • Towels or rags

Carefully apply the petroleum jelly on the rubber edge of the shoe without rubbing it on the fabric. Rubbing on the fabric could cause the liquid dye not to penetrate it.

Mix the dyes in empty clean spray bottles according to the instructions on the dye. If there is any need for additives such as salt for clothes fixatives, please do so.

It is wise to know that fabric dye can stain your hands, clothes, or surfaces. On that note, you have to be very careful with it.

You then carefully spray dye on the fabrics of the shoe. Ensure you insert a towel or rag to avoid run-off dye.

You finally rinse your shoe by running it under cold water in a sink and letting the sun dry it.

Do vans shoes expand?

Vans shoes stretch out especially the slip-on style which is tighter at first. However, vans shoes for skating are better snug than loose for greater performance.

Because vans shoes run true to size and are made with tough vulcanized rubber soles, it doesn’t loosen up easily. It takes at least 3-4 weeks before it is broken into.

Vans shoe collections


Everything you need to know is written here. I hope you have now understood why Vans shoes are rated among the best in the sports footwear market.

Vans brands do not only deal on shoes but also apparel and accessories. The quality of their products and how they kept the growth of youth’s culture as their priority have kept them going till this far.

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